- a person who robs or commits illegal violence at sea or on the shores of the sea.
- a ship used by such persons.
- any plunderer, predator, etc.: confidence men, slumlords, and other pirates.
- a person who uses or reproduces the work or invention of another without authorization.
- Also called pirate stream. Geology. a stream that diverts into its own flow the headwaters of another stream, river, etc.
- to commit or practice piracy.
Origin of pirate
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for pirate
Spam, squirt guns, earthworms, pirate costumes—stuff like that.Cheap Trick: Most Magicians Are Lazy Hacks
August 19, 2014
His acceptance speech was a reflection of his career, and laced with enough profanity to make a pirate blush.The Best Moments of the MTV Movie Awards
April 14, 2014
In 2007, Pirate Bay even attempted to raise the funds to purchase Sealand.Welcome to Sealand: a Sovereign Nation
February 20, 2014
This was a pretty inconvenient situation for a pirate running up and down between decks.
Those are crucial minutes no pirate—or bed-seeking midnight fumbler—should spare.
I've read of precious stones in the hilt of a pirate's sword!Weighed and Wanting
"I would I had your eyes," said Sir Nigel, blinking at the pirate galleys.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Nor, search as he would, could Mainwaring find a trace of any of the pirate treasure.
"I don't know that 'tis fit for me to take this pirate money, after all," he said.
Then he knew that it must be a party who had come off the pirate sloop.
- a person who commits piracy
- a vessel used by pirates
- (as modifier)a pirate ship
- a person who illicitly uses or appropriates someone else's literary, artistic, or other work
- a person or group of people who broadcast illegally
- (as modifier)a pirate radio station
- (tr) to use, appropriate, or reproduce (artistic work, ideas, etc) illicitly
Word Origin and History for pirate
c.1300 (mid-13c. as a surname), from Latin pirata "sailor, corsair, sea robber" (source of Spanish, Italian pirata, Dutch piraat, German Pirat), literally "one who attacks (ships)," from Greek peirates "brigand, pirate," literally "one who attacks," from peiran "to attack, make a hostile attempt on, try," from peira "trial, an attempt, attack," from PIE root *per- "try" (cf. Latin peritus "experienced," periculum "trial, experiment; attempt on or against; enterprise;" see peril). An Old English word for it was sæsceaða. Meaning "one who takes another's work without permission" first recorded 1701; sense of "unlicensed radio broadcaster" is from 1913.
1570s, from pirate (n.). Related: Pirated; pirating.